Court orders Parliament to temporarily maintain Ranjan’s seat

The Court of Appeal today (5) instructed the Parliament Secretary General to not take action with regard to imprisoned Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) MP Ranjan Ramanayake’s parliament seat.

The Court informed the Parliament Secretary General to refrain from acting on MP Ramanayake’s parliament seat until 12 February 2021.

Ramanayake was sentenced to four years’ rigorous imprisonment by the Supreme Court in January.

Ramanayake was accused of contempt of court for allegedly making a controversial statement regarding the composition of the Supreme Court judge bench hearing the petitions filed against the President’s dissolution of Parliament in 2018.

In January, Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena informed Parliament that he will seek legal opinion on MP Ranjan Ramanayake’s parliamentary seat.

The Speaker said he needs three weeks to study the matter and consider the opinion presented by parliamentarians on the matter.

His comments came after Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa raised concerns in Parliament over moves to make vacant Ramanayake’s parliamentary seat.

Concerns were raised after Attorney General (AG) Dappula de Livera had informed the Secretary General of Parliament that Ramanayake’s seat in Parliament has become vacant.

The AG’s Coordinating Officer, Nishara Jayaratne told Colombo Gazette that Ramanayake’s seat in Parliament had become vacant in view of his conviction and sentence for contempt of court. (Colombo Gazette)